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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Look at the First HTML 5 Working Draft

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published a draft of the
HTML 5 specification, the first major revision to the language since
HTML 4 was released more than ten years ago. In the intervening time
the web has gone from being primarily a static medium to being about
interactive applications and media-rich content, with developers
increasingly moving their applications to the web. HTML 5 is intended
to reflect that change. Amongst the new features squarely targeted at
application developers, HTML 5 introduces a number of new Javascript
APIs. These can be used in conjunction with corresponding HTML elements.
A number of new presentation elements have also been introduced with
support for familiar page components such as headers, footers, figures,
dialog (used to mark-up a conversation), and navigation. There is a
new datagrid element which will support interactive tables and trees,
a datalist element for combo boxes, and a progress attribute which
represents the completion of a long running task. Support for RSS feeds
within the page markup has also been added. For forms the input
element's type attribute has new support for dates, times, emails and
URLs, so that the browser can provide the user interface elements, for
example a calendar date picker or integration with the user's address
book, and submit the data in a defined format to the server. HTML 5
also drops support for some well-know features. The most notable is
support for frames, which have long been considered detrimental to
accessibility and usability. It should be noted that dropped features
will continue to be supported by browsers that also fully support the
HTML 5 standard, since support for legacy versions of HTML will remain
for many years.

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